Intro: Retreading Flymo Hand Mower
I've been using an old (over 30 year old) Flymo push mower for my lawns for the last 17 years. It was given to me by a friend who said it didn't work. I've found that greasing the wheel bearings & pawls every few years & adjusting the blade clearance 2- 3 time a year is all it's needed up to now. Mind you I dont have a huge lawn area to mow & I DONT let it grow into a wilderness between mowings.
The mower has performed perfectly adequately until last winter when it became so old that the tread on the wheels had worn down to the stage that the wheels skidded rather than turned if the grass was even slightly damp.
Rather than buy new wheels ( or horror a new mower ) I decided to retread the wheels. A quick look around the local Kmart showed BMX tyres at $5 each. Plenty of tread depth on them & one tyre big enough to go round both wheels.
I haven't taken dozens of pics or provided a 100 simple steps for those who want to follow me. It's all pretty simple & obvious.
Rather the basics are to use a sharp knife to cut the side walls from the tread. Then cut two pieces from the tread long enough to wrap right round the wheels with about an inch ( 2 – 3 cm) overlap. (please note my semantically correct metric conversion about an inch is not about 25.4mm). Cut the tread off the overlap area with a sharp blade.
Rough up & solvent clean the surfaces of the wheels & then using a flexible adhesive sealant , ureathane or silicone or similar) apply a good thick bead over the contact area. Using self tapping screws under an inch long place your first screw through the tread band into the wheel a little past the area you removed the tread from. Stretch the band lightly around the wheel & adjust the overlap so it sits neatly ( trim a little off the end until it does.)
then screw it down with glue & a screw through the overlap. Put several screws through the tread evenly around he perimeter & leave the glue to set.
Note the two wheels need the overlap facing in different directions. You want to put the wheels on with the overlap facing so that on the cutting stroke you are not trying to peel the tread off the wheel.
I first did this 6 months ago with contact cement but the adhesion wasn't all that strong ( I may not have got ALL the talc off the inside of the tread bands). I've re- done it with a more elastic adhesive to allow for more movement. Mind if you use plenty of screws & you probably wouldn't need the glue!